Sex Offenders Groom Their Victims

Acquaintance Sex Offenders often ‘groom’ their victims prior to any sexual abuse for a period of weeks, months or even years. When the parent(s) is physically or emotionally absent it makes the child the most vulnerable to a sex offenders cunning tactics.

Grooming activities include, but are not restricted to the following.

o Befriending and gaining trust with the parent(s)–especially single women. The sex offender offers to watch the child so the single mother or parents can have a ‘free’ night out; or provide fun activities–taking the child away from the home. During these activities the sex offender deepens the grooming activities–touching the child in ways that are seemingly inocuous… yet sexual in nature. Such as hugging often, touching her buttocks, putting his hand on her leg, kissing her on the cheek and exculating to kissing her on the mouth. At any stage of the grooming process if she protests he apologizes to quiet her discomfort. He knows he will gain acceptance again, if the protest is weak or she readily accepts the apology.

The sex offender is keenly aware that the child needs to be controlled to the extent he/she can sexually abuse the child without fear of disclosure. This manipulation may be obtained in many ways: favors, threats, guilt, shame, ‘This is our secret,’ ‘If you tell anyone, they won’t believe you,’ ‘You can’t tell, I will lose my job, ‘You know you wanted to do this too. You could have stopped any time.’ Thus, making the child equally responsible for the sexual activity.

Other ways Sex Offenders gain access to children:

o Securing jobs and participating in community events that involve children. Then, befriending those who the most vulnerable.

o Volunteering to coach children’s sports, thus, having opportunities to befriend the parents and then groom the child.

o Attending sporting events for children, thus, learning which parents are absent during the game. Offering to give the child a ride home.

o Volunteering in youth organizations, volunteering to chaperone overnight trips.

o Frequently being in places children socialize – playgrounds, malls, game arcades, etc. Befriending the child, who projects loneliness, offering to buy them treats or small items of interest.

o Engaging in Internet gaming and social web sites, learning the online interests and lingo of tweens and teens. Befriending those who seem to be seeking attention, love and affection.

o Being foster parents. It is foolhardy to assume someone, who is married with children would be less likely to be a sex offender. Sex offenders might only sexually abuse other’s children and not their own. Thus, sex offenders will become a foster parent to have ready access to children. If the foster child is returned to his/her parent(s), or an adoptive family, another child will soon need foster parents.

Grooming can be done in the presence of others, often without the other person recognizing the intent of the behavior.

A mother revealed her husband played a tickling game with their three-year-old son. The rule of the game was to play with Daddy and have fun-the son was instructed to tickle his father’s nipples while sitting in a straddled position over his father’s nude body from the waist up. The object of this game was, ‘Make daddy laugh.’ Of course, the father could withhold laughing until he experienced the sexual stimulation he desired. When the mother objected to this game, the father admonished her for being jealous of his time with their son.

Another mother was horrified when her three-year old daughter asked her to play the ‘pee-pee’ game. She asked her daughter to explain this game. Her daughter lay on her back on the floor; legs spread and said, “Touch my ‘pee-pee,’ Mommy, that is what Daddy does.”

Fathers frequently cuddle in bed with their daughters in a spoon position, arm across their mid-body with only underware or pajamas on. Several clients have reported feeling their father’s penis against their legs or back, while not knowing what to do-as they wanted their father’s affection-they didn’t like the feeling of his genitals against their body. This cuddling seems harmless, most mothers reason. The women also reported sexual abuse occurred sometime later. Was the cuddling in bed a form of grooming or was the cuddling an ill advised way to show affection with the child that unwittingly led to subsequent sexual abuse? In either belief; the damage is done.

In a study of twenty adult sex offenders conducted by Jon Cote, Steven Wolf and Tim Smith; two of the key questions asked were:

1. “Was there something about the child’s behavior which attracted you to the child?”

o “The warm and friendly child or the vulnerable child. Friendly, showed me their panties.”

o “The way the child would look at me, trustingly.”

o “The child who was teasing me, smiling at me, asking me to do favors.”

o “Someone who had been a victim before [sexual abuse or spankings], quiet, withdrawn, compliant. Someone, who had not been, a victim would be more non-accepting of the sexual language or stepping over the boundaries of modesty. Quieter, easier to manipulate, less likely to object or put up a fight… goes along with things.”

2. “After you had identified a potential victim, what did you do to engage the child into sexual contact?” The responses included:

o “I didn’t say anything. It was at night, and she was in bed asleep.”

o “Talking, spending time with them, being around them at bedtime, being around them in my underwear, sitting down on the bed with them. Constantly evaluating the child’s reaction… A lot of touching, hugging, kissing, snuggling.” [Desensitizing the child with appropriate behavior.]

o “Playing, talking, giving special attention, trying to get the child to initiate contact with me… Get the child to feel safe to talk with me. From here I would initiate different kinds of contact, such as touching the child’s back, head… Testing the child to see how much she would take before she would pull away.”

o “Isolate them from other people. Once alone, I would make a game of it (red light, green light with touching up their leg until they said stop). Making it fun.”

o “Most of the time I would start by giving them a rub down. When I got them aroused, I would take the chance and place my hand on their penis to masturbate them. If they would not object, I would take this to mean it was okay… I would isolate them. I might spend the night with them. Physical isolation, closeness, contact are more important than verbal seduction.”

Many of my clients have reported their sexual abuse grooming started when they showered with a parent-or the parent/caretaker washed the child’s genital area with bare hands and soap long past the stage a child needed assistance to cleanse their genital area. While for some this activity was the extent of the covert sexual contact, but for others it evolved into overt sexual abuse. Even though the activity was only ‘rubbing’ the genital area ostensibly for bathing purposes, many people suffered classic aftereffects of sexual abuse.

How? You might ask, would the child experience sexual abuse by having their genital area washed with bare hands and soap? The answer is simple. At birth, children are complete neurological sexual beings, who can experience erotic sensation, although they are sexually immature and without an active sex drive. Furthermore, the child experiences the adult’s physiology, which has sexual overtones, thus although the child doesn’t have a name for the experience the child knows his/her body is responding in a unfamiliar manner and the experience with the adults is unfamiliar. Within the definition of sexual abuse it is abuse, “If a child cannot refuse, or who believes she or he cannot refuse she/he has been violated.”

Grooming or sexual abuse activities also include:

o Playing pool tag-when the child is tagged ‘Playfully’ pulling the child’s swimsuit down.

o Pulling her panties down without her permission.

o Male holding a child on his lap while he has an erection.

o Kissing the child in a way that is sexual for the giver and inappropriate for the child.

o Seemingly innocuous touching, caressing, wrestling, tickling or playing, which has sexual overtones or meaning for the other person.

o Adult treats the child as an equal/peer, pseudo or surrogate spouse.

o Teacher/coach or activity leader befriends a child in the guise of helping him/her with studies and/or sports.

Unique and less frequently reported grooming activities:

o Male demonstrates and instructs the child how to suck on a peeled banana without breaking or putting teeth marks on it. Once the child has complied and masters the skill; this activity is shifted to his penis-often using the con-“I have a big banana between my legs, you can suck on it.”

o Male initiates a game of ‘sucking the jelly’ out of my big toe. Once the child has complied and understands the ‘game.’ This activity is shifted to his penis.

o Invading a child’s privacy, such as entering the bathroom or bedroom without knocking, catching her/him unaware or indisposed. This invasion is a power play-disempowering their victim-indoctrinating the child to comply with the adult’s authority and control in all situations and circumstances.

o Enemas or frequent inspection of the child’s genitals ostensibly for health reasons.

In the thirty plus years I have worked with sexual abuse survivors in the healing process, I have discovered a child is rarely subjected to only one type of sexual abuse. Furthermore, I have learned the sad truth about the human mind’s ability to seemingly conceive of endless ways to sexually abuse children.

Resource: Conte, Jon R., Steven Wolf, Tim Smith. “What Sexual Offenders Tell Us About Prevention Strategies.” Child Abuse & Neglect Vol. 13 (1989): 293-301

 

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Saying “No” to “Touching My Private Parts” – Not Enough to Protect Your Child from Sex Offenders

The majority of parents do a good job teaching their children to beware of strangers. Yet most victims of child sexual abuse know the sex offender.

In a study of twenty adult sex offenders conducted by Jon Conte, Steven Wolf and Tim Smith; two of the key questions asked were:

1. “Was there something about the child’s behavior which attracted you to the child?”

Responses included:

o “The warm and friendly child or the vulnerable child…Friendly, showed me their panties.”

o “The way the child would look at me, trustingly.”

o “The child who was teasing me, smiling at me, asking me to do favors.”

o “Someone who had been a victim before–[spanking or inappropriate touch]–quiet, withdrawn, compliant. Someone, who had not been a victim would be more non-accepting of the sexual language or stepping over the boundaries of modesty… Quieter, easier to manipulate, less likely to object or put up a fight…goes along with things.”

2. “After you had identified a potential victim, what did you do to engage the child into sexual contact?

Responses included:

o “I didn’t say anything. It was at night, and she was asleep.

o “Talking, spending time with them, being around them at bedtime, being around them in my underwear, sitting down on the bed with them… Constantly evaluating the child’s reaction… A lot of touching, hugging, kissing, snuggling.”

o “Playing, talking, giving special attention, trying to get the child to initiate contact with me… From here I would initiate different kinds of contact, such as touching the child’s back, head… Testing the child to see how much she would take before she would pull away.

o “Isolate them from any other people. Once alone, I would make a game of it (red light, green light with touching up their leg until they said stop). Making it fun.”

o “Most of the time I would start by giving them a rub down. When I got them aroused, I would take the chance and place my hand on their penis to masturbate them. If they would not object, I would take this to mean it was Okay… I would isolate them. I might spend the night with them… Physical isolation, closeness, contact are more important than verbal seduction.”

We cannot ignore the sophistication of sex offenders’ efforts to desensitize the child through the gradual development of a relationship with the child and progressing from non-sexual touch (touching a leg, back or head) to sexual touch. Given that 95-99 percent of sex offenders are people their victims know and trust–family members and other trusted adults–even children as young as two can be taught to know what to do to protect him/herself.

For a child who has been taught only to say, “No’ to touching his/her private parts–one of the consequences of this relationship building and desensitization process is self-blame. By the time the child realizes that his/her private parts were touched–the damage is done–and the child may believe he/she has given consent to the abuse. He/she thinks because he/she did not say, “No” when the adult rubbed her/his back or head, he/she is to blame. It only takes one second for a sex offender to stick his tongue into a child’s mouth when he is giving a ‘traditional family’ kiss on the lips. It only takes one second for a sex offender to put his hand up a girl’s leg and touch a child’s labia while she sits on his lap.

Studies reveal that teaching a child to say, “No” has little impact because it is rare a child will affect more than weak resistance against a known sex offender. Furthermore, the sex offender will usually ignore a simple, “No.” The sex offender uses subtle or blatant threats, intimidating the child into compliance and silence.

My book, If I’d Only Known…Sexual Abuse in or out of the Family: A Guide to Prevention, emphasizes six important prevention techniques.

o Non-violation of sacred Body boundaries–to thwart the sex offender who counts on–a child who has been violated before–quiet, withdrawn, compliant. Someone, who had not been a victim, would be more non-accepting of the sexual language or stepping over the boundaries of modesty… Quieter, easier to manipulate, less likely to object or put up a fight…goes along with things.”

o Good, Appropriate Touch

o Appropriate Body Boundaries

o Good Body Image

o Tell Mommy and Daddy Everything–No Secrets Rule

o Appropriate Suspicion

Appropriate Suspicion (intuition, a.k.a. sixth sense) alone when acted upon empowers the child to thwart the majority of would-be sex offenders. Coupled with the other five techniques–your child is well prepared to stop every sex offender in their tracks.

Trusting and acting on your intuition or sixth sense and allowing your child to trust his/her intuition is paramount to protecting children from sex offenders, no matter whether they are family members, family friends, doctors, dentists, teachers, etc. Children are naturally intuitive and often sense an adult’s ulterior motives, although you may not suspect anything.

We need to accept the reality that no one can be considered exempt from being a sex offender, including all family members. As a parent, be appropriately suspicious and trust your intuition. If you err in evaluating a situation, make the error on the side of your child. The important factor is not that you have avoided offending someone, but that you have protected your child, until you can investigate further.

The title of my book, If I’d Only Known… is the lament of my friend’s daughter whose three-year-old son was sexually abused by her step-mother’s ten-year-old son. If only I had known that he would potentially abuse other children because he was sexually abused, I would never have let John play in the backyard alone with him.” She was right, if only parents knew the fact that sexual abuse is perpetrated, ‘anywhere, anytime, and by someone you least expect, they could protect children from this heinous crime.

Find Out Why Sex In Your City Is a Weekend Sexual Marathon

There is a reason that hotel sex rates as one of the top thrills for a sexual liaison, one night stand, or sex date. You have a chance to create your own version of sex in your city by bringing the need for sex to a completely new environment. You can have a mini sexual vacation simply by driving up to the valet, even if it is just a few miles from your own house. No distractions. Just room service and all the casual sex fun that you can imagine.

If you are planning a sexual weekend of fun that includes sex in your city then you can begin the adventure even before you arrive. Remember that anticipation of sex is almost as thrilling as the sex itself…almost. Anticipation – don’t underestimate its power.

Begin your teasing on the way to the hotel. If you are in the car you can reach over, unzip your partners fly and start to give him a little rub. You can try a blow job while he’s driving but be sure that he’s a good enough driver to multitask.

When you get to the hotel start groping in the elevator. Go ahead, press the button to the top floor even if that isn’t where your room is. Just explore with your hands and kiss passionately until you get to the top level. When you finally get to the room, spend a few minutes exploring the corners but then pick one to do a little oral exercise – a few minutes of oral sex and fellatio for each of you. The only rule is no full sex…not yet! In fact, keep most of your clothes on and just remove the ones that are in the way of oral sex.

Then get out and explore. Walk the city or drive to the countryside. Keep your connection and be sure that there is a lot of sexual contact by touching. You don’t have to keep it proper with this type of sex dating, but be sure to be tactful so there is nothing too embarrassing going on; nothing that will get you arrested for exploring sex in your city. Know the laws of the city and then walk the gray areas!

After a little exploring, you are ready to head back to the room.

Missing Persons Investigations of a New Age

George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four was first published in 1949. You’d have thought that his vision would no longer be up-to-date 65 years later. The world he described was a world where Big Brother was watching people, constantly seeking information about crime think or any other kind of offence against the glorious super state of Oceania.

Edward Snowden showed us, that what Big Brothers these days are doing is not all that different from what Orwell described. Sure, the technology is quite different from what he had envisioned, but Orwell’s novel is not about science and technology, but about the horrible world where governments might monitor our every move, observe us in our most intimate moments and know about everything we do. Modern day supercomputers, satellites and all sorts of technology make that easily possible for various government agencies.

Yet there is so much information out there that is easily accessible without any spying satellites, supercomputers or without bugging mobile phones. It’s the information millions of users are putting online every day of their own free will, just to get some likes, re-tweets or shares. People tell themselves that they are doing this to stay in touch with each other, but they fail to realize how much of their personal information they are giving away every moment of every day.

With more than half of Australians being active on Facebook, it seems like this would be the most promising social network to start an investigation. The information found on Facebook is truly varied. There are photographs, comments as well as check-ins that give away a person’s current location. Furthermore there is a time stamp on everything, which makes it easy to create a collage of events a person went through at a certain time. No special equipment is needed for all of this with much of it capable of being performed with a simple smart phone.

Of course people tend to forget, that social media doesn’t mean just Facebook and Twitter. Apart from other household names like LinkedIn, Google+ or Pinterest, there are dozens of other smaller, niche websites that cater to all sorts of profiles. Finding information across all of these platforms can turn into a large investigation on its own.

Investigating social media is not only about snooping either. People tend to forget, that Facebook is first and foremost a platform for communication. As many people from the younger generations no longer even have a landline and choose not to publicly reveal their mobile number, Facebook and other social media may be an easy way of tracking them down for communication or to even serve court documents.

Being a private investigator and not knowing anything about social media is something that has become unimaginable in this day and age. While traditional methods such as surveillance are still very effective, they are considerably supplemented with comprehensive desktop investigation based on extensive social media profiling and as the next generation moves more of their life onto the internet the value of this brand of profiling is only going to increase.

Ecommerce – The Importance of Having a Privacy Policy

A privacy policy, also known as an information management policy, is an agreement between a website operator and a website user that determines how the operator intends to use, collect, store, share, and protect the data that the user shares through interactions with the website. Even a little more than a decade ago, some commercial websites did not have privacy policies, but now, virtually all websites have one. These policies, which should be separate from the website’s terms of use agreement, are a necessity for several different reasons.

The Policy Can Foster Transparency and Trust between Operators and Users

In connection with privacy policies, website users usually want to know two things: what information the website collects and how that information is used. Best business practices dictate that website operators let users know the answers to those two questions and let them know how to control that use.

Some websites inform users that they simply collect information for their own use, and other websites disclose that they provide that information to third parties under certain circumstances. eBay’s privacy policy, for instance, tells users that it does not “disclose your personal information to third parties for their marketing and advertising purposes” without the user’s explicit consent. The policy says eBay may share personal information to third parties when it is necessary to prevent fraud or use the eBay website’s core functions. The extended version of eBay’s reader-friendly policy could be improved by specifically informing users at what points of service the information is collected and how it is shared at each point.

A website should also update users whenever the privacy policy changes. It should let the users know when the new policy will go into effect, and it may allow users to agree to the changes, explicitly through a dialogue box or implicitly through continued use of the website.

The Policy Can Help Shield You from Legal Liability

Although there is no general federal law outlining privacy policy requirements for websites that collect information from adults, several state laws and minor-specific federal laws exist. For instance, the California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 (OPPA) requires that website privacy policies must contain certain information, including: “personally identifying information collected, the categories of parties with whom this personally identifying information may be shared, and the process for notifying users of material changes to the applicable privacy policy.” The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires operators to maintain a privacy policy if the website is directed to children under the age of 13 or knowingly collects information from children under the age of 13.

Read for more for additional information regarding privacy policies, terms of use agreements, internet business, and eCommerce.

Darin M. Klemchuk is an intellectual property (IP) trial lawyer located in Dallas, Texas with significant experience enforcing patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret rights. He is a founding partner of Klemchuk LLP. He was selected to be included in the Internet Lawyer Leadership Summit, a group of lawyers in the US focused on Internet law issues. He also practices commercial litigation and business law, social media law, and ecommerce and IP licensing.